Friday, August 30, 2013

greens to-go




My best friend Lisa is about to embark on yet another three month journey to Bali. Lucky lucky girl! I love Bali! But, it can be hard to get all the essential nutrients from your veggies there. Not that they don't have an abundance of tropical fruits and veg, the water is just so contaminated, it can be dangerous to even eat food that is washed in it. So, if you are going the safe route, avoiding bali belly as carefully as possible, its smart to eat mostly cooked meals while traveling there. The last time I went to Bali I was sure to bring my greens with me. So I wouldn't feel like I was missing out on all those enzymes, probiotics, and nutrients that keep me healthy and energized. And I want Lisa to feel the same, so I have been trying out the best powders to mix with water, smoothies, and juices. Because I know that sluggish feeling you get after a few weeks of nasi goreng and bin tangs.



The greens I brought with me last time I liked a lot, Amazing Grass's Green Superfood. The two flavors I like are lemon lime energy, which can be mixed with just water, and original flavor, which you should probably mix with juice because its kind of "green" tasting. I would suggest orange juice, or anything as close to the real deal as possible!

Amazing Grass's Green Superfood the original


Amazing Grass's Green Superfood lemon-lime energy 





Amazing Grass's Organic Wheat Grass whole food drink powder





As for the wheatgrass... It definitely has lots to offer, but I think the other powders are a little more well rounded for what I am looking for. Plus, you definitely want to mix this with a juice or throw in a smoothie, good luck choking it down with just water! 

Vitamineral Green 5.2


VMG-Panel 2.27.13




























Vitamineral Green 5.2 has got it all. A serious amount of greens and probiotics, plus spirulina and chlorella. But unfortunately, it is the most expensive of all the green powders I've tried. And... its not very tasty when mixed with just water. I like it in smoothies, you can't even tell that its there! I would highly recommend this product, but maybe not if you are trying to travel light, or cheap. It comes in a glass jar, this little one was just under $4, and the large one is $23. 

Trace Minerals Research Greeens Pak chocolate

Supplement Facts
Serving Size  1 PACKET
Servings Per Container   30
Amount Per
Serving
% Daily
Value
CALORIES
30 
N/A*
TOTAL FAT
1 Gm
N/A*
SODIUM
10 Mg
N/A*
TOTAL CARBOHYDRATE
5 Gm
N/A*
DIETARY FIBER
2 Gm
N/A*
SUGARS(ALL NATURAL, NOT ADDED)
0.2 Gm
N/A*
PROTEIN
1 Gm
N/A*
ANTIOXIDANT BLENDNATURAL COCOA POWDER, POMEGRANATE POWDER, STRAWBERRY, RASPBERRY, BLUEBERRY, CERTIFIED ORGANIC CINNAMON POWDER, VEGETABLE & FRUIT ANTIOXIDANT BLEND, RED WINE EXTRACT, QUERCETIN, DECAFFEINATED GREEN TEA EXTRACT, JAPANESE KNOTWEED, MILK THISTLE EXTRACT, CERTIFIED ORGANIC ALOE VERA LEAF POWDER, ACEROLA CHERRY POWDER, TUMERIC RHIZOME EXTRACT, GRAPE SEED EXTRACT, BLUEBERRY LEAF EXTRACT, ORGANIC ACAI,ORGANIC GOJI, ORGANIC RED BEET ROOT POWDER,MANGOSTEEN
3820 Mg
N/A*
GREENS & VEGETABLE BLENDORGANIC CARROT JUICE POWDER, ORGANIC BARLEY GRASS JUICE POWDER, ORGANIC SPIRULINA, ORGANIC BROCCOLI JUICE POWDER, ORGANIC CAULIFLOWER POWDER, ORGANIC SPINACH JUICE POWDER, ORGANIC PARSLEY JUICE POWDER, CHLORELLA, CONCENTRACE ALFALFA POWDER, NOPAL CACTUS LEAF POWDER, ORGANIC KALE LEAF POWDER, BLUE-GREEN ALGAE, MACA ROOT, KAMUT GRASS.
1550 Mg
N/A*
FIBER BLENDOAT BETA GLUCANS (7%), LECITHIN (GMO-FREE) BARLEY MALT, APPLE FIBER PECTIN.
1200 Mg
N/A*
DAIRY-FREE PROBIOTIC & ENZYME BLENDFRUTOC-OLIGOSACCHARIDES (FOS), L. ACIDOPHILUS, L. CASEI, L. RHAMNOSUS, AMYLASE, PROTEASES, LIPASE, CELLULASE, LACTASE.
185 Mg
N/A*








This chocolate one is awesome, like a treat! I just mixed it with water, but I can tell it would be good with almond milk. Highly recommended. The berry one is good too, easy to mix and all you need is a water bottle! Very good for a bali adventure. 


Garden of Life Perfect Food Raw






The thing I like best about this powder is that it has a sprout blend! And its all raw! I can't really believe all the good things they fit into this little pouch of powder. I also like the raw protein powder by this same brand. Anything RAW is better, in my book. Perfect life is best if mixed with juice or blended in a smoothie. 





To conclude my research: I liked them all! But I do feel like the flavored ones, Amazing Grass's Green Superfood lemon lime energy, and Trace Minerals Greens Pak, would be the best for a Bali trip. They are just too easy and convenient, and taste good too! 

None of my research is in any way scientific, or long-term. Just trying out some green powders to give a little advice to a friend! If you are going on a similar trip and worried about getting enough greens, I would suggest doing your own research first, everyone's body is different, and everyone's tastes are different. Its important to find out what works best for you! 

I can't wait to see you Lisa, you have a care package waiting :) And Bali... I miss you


Wednesday, August 21, 2013

the most refreshing smoothie

I have been experimenting with mint this week, an "experimint" if you will. Nothing better than a bad pun. Anyway, I had bought some mint to make my mint chocolate truffles, and had tons left over. So, after a few teas, I made some infused ice cubes. This was actually a way better idea than the tea because it is sooooo hot lately!


I just froze some mint leaves in some of the cubes and some blueberries in the others. Blueberry and mint infused ice water on a hot summer day, very refreshing. 


But... not as refreshing as this smoothie! I am claiming it, the most refreshing smoothie... EVER! I just got off of work, cooking in a steamy little cafe over two hot crepe grills, lets just say I was a hot mess. Until now...


yum. 
  • 1 pear, cut up
  • small handful fresh mint leaves
  • big handful fresh baby spinach
  • 3 or 4 chunks frozen pineapple
  • about 1/2 cup coconut water
blend and be refreshed!


Saturday, August 17, 2013

broccamole


Yep, just what it sounds like, guacamole with broccoli! I saw this on pinterest and got super excited, what a good idea! But then, when I went to the recipe, it called for over-cooked broccoli, cream cheese, and no avocado! You can't have a mole without the avo! So, needless to say, I didn't make it like that. I made up my own awesome, avocado and raw broccoli dip. It's is super healthy and tastes amazing!

  • one head of broccoli, trimmed and chopped
  • one ripe avocado
  • juice of 1/4 lime
  • small handful fresh cilantro (around 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Now, before I continue, do you know how good broccoli is for you? Broccoli has three phytonutrients that work together to help detoxify your body. It also acts as an anti-inflamitory, and is full of antioxidants. This combination makes broccoli a cancer preventing machine. I don't know about you, but it doesn't take a lot of convincing to get me to eat cancer preventing foods, bring on the broccoli! To learn more, check it out here http://www.whfoods.com/


Okay, just throw it all into a food processor and blend until smooth! I was so impressed with this dip. You can barely taste the broccoli, yet you know its there. I am definitely going to find more ways to sneak broccoli into my meals! We ate this broccamole on salmon tacos with a beet and carrot slaw. Raw veggies never tasted so good!


Thursday, August 15, 2013

mint chocolate truffles


I found this recipe on katy's kitchen, another awesome food blog. I pretty much followed the recipe except I used raw cacao powder, and 2 Tbs of it instead of one! Oooo, and I'm glad I did, the chocolatey-er the better.


  • 1/2 cup pitted dates
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint
  • 2 Tbsp raw cacao powder (plus a little extra to roll on the outside)
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup oat flour
 I soaked my dates for about ten minutes in hot water, then drained them and added them to the food processor with the mint, cacao, maple syrup, and coconut oil. Pulse until you have a chunky paste, then start to add the flours, 1 Tbsp at a time. The last Tbsp of buckwheat flour I had to fold in myself because it was getting a little too thick for my chopper.

Roll the dough into desired sized truffle balls. Roll in a little cacao powder (a little goes a long way). If you just get a little on each ball, and then roll it around in your palms, it will coat the truffle pretty evenly.

Just let the truffles set in the fridge for about ten minutes and you're good to go! These are soooo good! I love using fresh mint rather than an extract, it makes it so alive!


You can even see the tiny tiny pieces of mint!


Yum! Thanks Katy, I'm seriously going to make these all the time! And anyone interested in some awesome dessert recipes visit http://katyskitchen.ca/, she knows how to put the healthy in chocolate. 

I don't have mint in my garden, so I bought some. Lets just say I have a lot more mint to eat! So there might be another minty recipe later this week, make sure you check back in! For now, I'll have a tea...


Monday, August 12, 2013

black bean + beet burgers

I love making veggie burgers. There is just so much you can do, the possibilities are endless. I made this batch a huge one because I am freezing most of them to have later, when I don't have time to make dinner. I'm sure it will work fine just doing a half batch too!

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 2 15 oz cans black beans
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 large carrot (or two small)
  • 1 large beet (or two small)
  • 3 spring onions
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • handful fresh basil
  • handful fresh parsley
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp bragg's liquid amino acids
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
Cook the quinoa first, as directed, and set aside. (I just throw mine in my rice cooker, 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa.) Next, in either a food processor or blender, grind oats into a coarse flour.



Peel the beet. Coarsely chop the beet, carrot, garlic, and spring onions. De-stem the herbs. Chop all veggies in a food processor, either at the same time or in increments, which is what I had to do since my chopper is so tiny! Transfer into a large bowl. Pulse the two cans of black beans (rinsed) in the food processor so they are chopped but still chunky. Add to the bowl of veggies along with spices, bragg's, and olive oil. Add the oat flour, bread crumbs, nutritional yeast, and all of the quinoa. (It should have made almost two cups cooked quinoa.)



Once everything is folded in evenly, form into burger-sized patties. It actually looks and kind of feels like real burger! So weird! I cooked my burgers on a gas grill with a little grill plate, they held together really well, so you could try cooking them right on the racks, but I didn't want to risk losing any through the cracks! About 5 to 8 minutes on each side, depending on your grill heat.


This batch makes 12 to 15 burgers, depending on the size patties you prefer. I didn't have anything to put my burgers in tonight so I just threw it on top of a salad with some cucumber and avocado. With burgers like these, you don't need a bun! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

creamy sun dried tomato basil dressing




I have taken the base for my vegan vegan caesar (the cashews and nutritional yeast) to create another creamy treat. I first made it just as a salad dressing, but all I could think about while eating my salad, was eating pasta! So,  the next night I made a pasta with it. It worked out perfectly, two meals in one post! 

For the dressing/pasta sauce:
  • 1/3 cup soaked cashews
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic (depends on how bad you want your breath to smell)
  • 1/3 cup fresh  basil leaves
  • 1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
Soak the cashews for 1 to 2 hours in water. Add drained cashew and 1/3 cup water to blender and blend until completely smooth. Let sit for 15 to 20 minutes in the fridge. Add the rest of the ingredients, and the other 1/3 cup water to blender and whiz away! If you are using dry sun dried tomatoes, be sure to rehydrate them for about 10 minutes with hot water. Mine were in a jar with oil, so no need. 

yes, there is feta on this salad. this is why i am almost vegan, for the love of cheese. there is also walnuts and avocado on there, great combo.
The next day...

A pasta was born. I just tossed the extra sauce with cooked brown rice penne and some fresh spinach. Keep it on the heat for a few minutes to wilt the spinach and heat the sauce. I also sauteed baby squash and onion in coconut oil to throw on top. Voila! 



I am still working on the photography, so I apologize for my dodgy photos. It looked way better than this, I promise. I just think food photos were meant to be taken during the day, which unfortunately, isn't when dinners like these happen. So, just bare with me, and imagine how tasty it really looked!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

falafel is easier than i thought


Why haven't I ever tried to make falafel before?! Its sooooo easy! and such a good salad topper! And now, I'm addicted. I found a recipe via pinterest and just played around with it, crispy-baked-falafel.

Start by soaking the garbanzo beans. I had no idea that falafel was made with just soaked beans, I was expecting to have to cook them! I soaked mine in the fridge because it is incredibly hot here right now and anything left out too long will go sour, I can't even sprout anything right now! It's too hot! Anyway, I soaked them for a night, and then all day, so double what was recommended. I did this for two reasons, because they were in the fridge, and also because I was afraid they would give me gas if they weren't soaked enough, I've heard horror stories about raw hummus. Anyway, just to be safe I would soak them for 16-20 hours.

  • 1 cup dried garbanzo beans, soaked
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 small red onion
  • fresh herbs of your choice (I did parsley, basil, and chives because thats what I have in my little garden)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend. I had to do mine in two batches, beans first, then everything else because I have a mini food processor, but if you have a normal one just throw everything in at once.

garbanzo beans
everything else
combine!

Form into little patties, about two inches across. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes at 375 degrees F. Carefully flip all of the patties and bake for another 10-15 minutes.



This easy falafel is perfect on a fresh salad, smothered in herbed lemon tahini dressing! And still good tomorrow in a wrap for lunch :)